A native chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) protocol for studying histone modifications in strawberry fruits.

Plant methods (2020-02-07)
Xiaorong Huang, Qinwei Pan, Ying Lin, Tingting Gu, Yi Li

Covalent modifications of histones and histone variants have great influence on chromatin structure, which is involved in the transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) is a powerful tool for studying in vivo DNA-histone interactions. Strawberry is a model for Rosaceae and non-climacteric fruits, in which histone modifications have been implicated to affect fruit development and ripening. However, a validated ChIP method has not been reported in strawberry, probably due to its high levels of polysaccharides which affect the quality of prepared chromatin and the efficiency of immunoprecipitation. We describe a native chromatin immunoprecipitation (N-ChIP) protocol suitable for strawberry by optimizing the parameters for nuclei isolation, chromatin extraction, DNA fragmentation and validation analysis using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The qRT-PCR results show that both the active mark H3K36me3 and the silent mark H3K9me2 are efficiently immunoprecipitated for the enriched regions. Compared to X-ChIP (cross-linked chromatin followed by immunoprecipitation), our optimized N-ChIP procedure has a higher signal-to-noise ratio and a lower background for both the active and the silent histone modifications. Furthermore, high-throughput sequencing following N-ChIP demonstrates that nearly 90% of the enriched H3K9/K14ac peaks are overlapped between biological replicates, indicating its remarkable consistency and reproducibility. An N-ChIP method suitable for the fleshy fruit tissues of woodland strawberry Fragaria vesca is described in this study. The efficiency and reproducibility of our optimized N-ChIP protocol are validated by both qRT-PCR and high-throughput sequencing. We conclude that N-ChIP is a more suitable method for strawberry fruit tissues relative to X-ChIP, which could be combined with high-throughput sequencing to investigate the impact of histone modifications in strawberry and potentially in other fruits with high content of polysaccharides.

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Triton X-100, laboratory grade
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid disodium salt dihydrate, suitable for electrophoresis, for molecular biology, 99.0-101.0% (titration)
Sodium acetate, anhydrous, for molecular biology, ≥99%